Am I too complicated? Will it be impossible for me to melt my perception down into a simple image? Do I challenge the viewer, and myself, with complications? Am I creating obstacles that prevent easy comprehension? OR, do I have so much to say that there is no way to say it simply?
This dilemma definitely does not have an easy answer. Yesterday's drawing took hours to find and to complete. It was good exercise. I am better for it. I am stronger. As I look at it now I wonder on its message. Does it say profound ideas that are me? I want to be seen for who I am. I want to reveal my concerns, my joys, my sense of humor, my reality. I fear death and I fear life. Am I making myself clear?
So, a nit is the egg of a parasitic insect. What does that have to do with art-making? A nit sounds ugly and disgusting. Making art can be involved in ugly and disgusting, but I do NOT think of my art that way. I do, however, believe my many disparate efforts, especially in drawing, are parasitic by nature. After I have produced them (e.g., yesterday's drawing) they cling to my intellect like a parasite. They are there; they have invaded me. Going forward I will be aware of these parasites of ideas whether I want to or not. Yes, some of these nuggets are squished; I do try to discard them if I believe they are useless to me. I am never fully successful at denying their presence — thus the nit-likeness of them! All this is written because I am unsure if yesterday's drawing has a lot of helpful information for me. I define "helpful" as instructive in my movement toward self-realization through art-making.
It takes more than time in the studio to produce one of my paintings. Thought-power happens now, while I am writing my Blog, while I am in the studio, and much of the time in-between. What a simple thing it would be if I was so present in thought and action that I could make a painting in one studio session! My drawings work that way. I act on a drawing till my ideas run out. That is true about my paintings as well, but the difference between drawing and painting (for me) is this: I am willing to allow slow and steady regurgitation of an idea in the making of a painting; a drawings is always a study. In other words, my drawings are practice and introspection surrounding idea-possibilities; paintings are solidly exploring idea-fulfillment.
Within the art I show today can be seen a wide range of my work to come. The expanse of my concerns widens more quickly than I am able to make art. Linus Carl Pauling said, "If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away." When I studied Chemistry Pauling was one of my heroes. I was a very good Chemist, but my ideas came slowly and I wanted fast. Art allows me to move quickly. I am on my own; I don't have to pay attention to the many confusing voices that speak more error than truth. (BTW: One of papers continues to be given high regard in Chemical Oceanography: mehrbach et al 1973, which has been sited 1862 times in the scientific literature.)
I am always hoping I am good enough to do it all in one fell swoop! Not yesterday! The painting 2017 No.11 is better than the day before, but the yellow creep onto the largest form in the composition requires a pullback. That will happen tomorrow. I think that will be the end of it. This painting does require a few other touches (besides removal of the excess yellow). That should be easy. The difficult work is done.
Yesterday's drawing tests a few new ideas. I still think (as I wrote in yesterday's blog post) I am exploring ideas that may instigate a new painting, which should begin shortly.
For reasons I will not explain, yesterday I had very little time in the studio. The one drawing is interesting to me, but not as interesting as my interrelation with the painting "2016 No.18". Light! That's my idea! My play of light across the artifice of the three-dimentional surfaces I create is too static. Too often I go with a light source on the left, shadows are cast to the right. Looking at "2016 No.18", I realized the set-up is redundantly mine, but needs not be. I must play with alternatives.
I did not count the marks, 1, 2, 3... a million. But I do know that it took the entire studio session to make today's drawing. Yes, this blog post is different. I am posting on the day of the drawing, not the day after. This new methodology feels right. I had hoped to get to painting but it did not happen. I had the energy to stick with solving the nitty gritty problems of this drawing as I encountered all kinds of strangeness. Getting out to studio immediately after the acts of waking and nourishment is energizing. The limit to my work is the limit of my ideas. That is exactly the description that defines today's drawing.
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